Zacharias 馃悵 Voulgaris

1 year ago 路 2 min. reading time 路 ~100 路

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The Scarcity Mentality

The Scarcity Mentality



Source: pixabay.com聽

Many people talk about the abundance mentality and how great it is, so I figured I'd do something different. After all, it's easy to talk about the merits of the light but not as easy to explore the darkness and incentivize others to leave it. So, in this article, we'll look at what the scarcity mentality is, why it's a toxic way of thinking (and being), and what you can do about it.

Scarcity is a phenomenon of any physical system, particularly when it comes to resources in that system. Since the system is finite, it stands to reason to view its resources as limited. That's OK, and if you can understand that, it can help make you better with your finances and other resources since you'll manage them better. Still, this idea of scarcity is often extended beyond the physical. Let me explain what I mean.

When scarcity becomes a way of thinking, projecting it to everything, not just physical resources, we are, in a way, limited in our perception. Viewing everything as limited and often scarce brings about anxiety and a competitive approach to things. Sometimes this works, as in the case of two companies competing to provide a better product or service, improving their game in the process. Other times it's not as good. The scarcity worldview can make everything look challenging, sometimes making us feel inadequate or even hopeless. If this perspective of scarcity infiltrates our thinking, we may end up thinking in terms of scarcity without realizing it! This mode of thinking is the scarcity mentality.

The scarcity mentality is toxic for various reasons. For starters, it creates artificial borders and boundaries, limiting our possibilities. If we think that the world is screwed because of X, Y, or Z, we are less likely to take a chance or dare to put forward a new idea. The scarcity mentality is bound to bleed to other people too, who might be hopeful at first but go all doom and gloom after being exposed to this way of thinking. In optimization problems, scarcity is a given, but life is broader than that. History has shown this to us time and time again. Things were hopeless once in New York City since there were way too many horse carriages, making manure a serious issue. Also, the smog from the factories didn't help either. Fortunately, new technologies came to alleviate this issue, albeit for the short-term only, since we managed to impose new limits to our lives through the harnessing of these technologies.

When Jacques Fresco (who grew up in New York City during its most challenging decade) proposed a new kind of society, he did so without being restricted by scarcity. Being an engineer by trade, he was very down-to-earth and didn't paint some rosy picture than some idealists would. Instead, he proposed we first take an accurate count of our resources and then optimally manage them, all while leveraging technology as much as possible, to optimize all energy-consuming activities. This way, we can all enjoy life and fulfill our potential without being burdened by the scarcity mentality. When I visited him a few years back in Florida (the Venus Project settlement), I witnessed firsthand the merits of a different way of thinking since many of his designs he had already implemented.

Jacques Fresco is the man on the right. I don't know who the guy on the left is! :-)

Of course, this initiative is just one of the ways we can explore alternative mentalities than make scarcity one a thing of the past. There are many other initiatives around the world some more modern than others, which explore how a more open-minded approach to life can make things more abundant. After all, there isn't much we can do about the fact that our resources are limited, but how we manage them is entirely up to us. Cheers!


Bab Mijieah Eagle

1 year ago #1

It was definitely a great read. Thank you so much. World exactly works like a mirror does and you get what you put out. Thought process determines a sentient organism's course of life. Thought helps you form your belief system, according to which you tend to act. In other words, if you move with scarcity mentality, you get your life more scarce always and you can't be free from the grip of scarcity. If you nurture the thoughts and feelings of abundance, life turns out to be abundant. This happens because what you think can literally change your biochemistry even without your knowledge and your muscle memory unfortunately works along with what level of biochemistry you maintain. Thank馃尮馃檹 you so much for this amazing piece.. 

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